Cheapest way to obtain high-performance file server
We need more file storage space for user areas and so on, so I'm trying to figure out just how much storage we can get for our money. I aim to get something that can sit at a central point in our network and serve files for 60-odd workstations at a time, so something with a decent disk read/write speed. How best to go about that? My thinking at the moment involves getting hold of an Antec Twelve Hundred case, nine 2TB SATA harddrives, a big power supply, some sort of motherboard and a hardware RAID card. I'd then have a couple of smaller harddrives on which to install the OS (CentOS, Debian or Ubuntu, probably) and arrange the 2TB disks in a RAID-5 array, giving around 12TB of apparent storage.
With the above setup, can I use Linux software RAID and still get the benifit of increased I/O performance with the hardware RAID card? RAID cards seem to be more flakey than they should be, and using software RAID gives me more options to recover problems easily with a simple boot disk.